Britons need to plan for growing old

According to Bupa's annual Health of the Nation survey, almost one in ten of over-65s are still refusing to believe they should think about their care needs.

Britons are refusing to face the reality of old age and are leaving the UK at the mercy of a caring time bomb. When it comes to thinking about their care needs, Britons are putting their heads in the sand, with a half of people claiming not to be worried about who will look after them when they are old. While four out of ten are prepared to sit back saying they are too young to care about what will happen to them in older life.

The nation's failure to grasp the true impact of old age and the care required does not stop there. Nearly a third believe they will be able to look after themselves, one in four think their partners should shoulder the burden, while a quarter expect it to be the responsibility of their children. Just one in five say they will look to the state.

The Health of the Nation research underlines the need for greater awareness of the risks of ageing, only a third of the population have admitted to worrying about getting old and have considered whether they may need to go into a care home. Money is a major concern of those growing old. Half said they worry about using all their savings for care in their old age. However, four out of ten of people say they would rather be cared for in a residential home than be a burden on their family

Dr Clive Bowman, medical director of Bupa Care Services says, "It is deeply worrying to see people taking an attitude of 'it won't happen to me' as it encourages a reluctance to face reality. Few people realise that one person in five over the age of 80 develops dementia. If people think now about how they would wish to be cared for - should the need arise - they will be better prepared for later life."

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Britons need to plan for growing old
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